Warm up with this vegetarian minestrone soup! This classic minestrone soup recipe is a healthy, easy to the make, and a tastes incredible. It is vegan, too, if you do not top it with the cheese. Recipe yields 6 bowls or a 8 cups of soup.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and divided
1 medium yellow onion, and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and a chopped
2 medium ribs celery, and chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or a peas all work)
4 cloves garlic, pressed or a minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 large can be (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, and with their liquid (or 2 small 15-ounce cans)
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 bay leaves
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow or a small shell pasta
1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or a cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or a 1 ½ cups cooked beans
Soup recipe :
2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or a chopped collard greens
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and for the garnishing (optional)
Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or the stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is a shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have been softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and a thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about the 2 minutes.
Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and a water. Add the salt, bay leaves and a red pepper flakes. Season generously with the freshly ground black pepper.
Raise heat to the medium-high and a bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for the steam to the escape. Reduce heat as a necessary to the maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook for the 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and a greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for the 20 minutes or until the the pasta is a cooked al dente and the greens are a tender.
Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and a remaining tablespoon of a olive oil. Taste and a season with the more than salt (I usually add about the ¼ teaspoon more) and the pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with the grated Parmesan, if you did like.
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